Maximilian Besenhard

Office: 303 Roberts Building 


MOB) is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UCL. He earned his MSc in technical physics where he studied nanoporous metal structures. He then completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering with a focus on continuous processing in tubular reactors at Graz University of Technology. He joined UCL in 2016 after more than six years in academic and industrial research at Rutgers University of New Jersey, the Department of Physiology of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, as well as Siemens CT and the Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering in Austria. His interdisciplinary research background combines various fields from experimental and computational process development of continuous processes, in situ characterization techniques, statistical control of bioprocesses, crystallization, modelling of tumour tissue and nanotechnology. His latest activities address the continuous synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles for biomedical applications and the online analysis of their magnetic properties

Applications involving iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) receive considerable attention in biomedicine,  including drug delivery, as well as fields requiring large quantities such as catalysis, batteries, agriculture, and waste water treatment. Each application requires IONPs of narrowly defined sizes and/or shapes, the right polymorph (mostly the more magnetic forms, maghemite and magnetite), high magnetic moments, and adequate surface chemistry. Hence, every application requires a unique synthetic procedure that can reproducibly generate IONPs of the targeted size (and shape) in quantities exceeding lab-scale.

It is the aim of this project to develop novel nature inspired procedures to synthesise highly magnetic IONP with tuneable sizes reproducibly via green chemistry to guarantee the biocompatibility of iron oxides which have already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The focus of the proposed research is the tuning of IONP sizes between 10-30 nm, i.e., the range which is most relevant for the aforementioned applications but hardly accessible via aqueous synthesis. This project is a with the Sara Staniland group working on BioNanoMagnetic research at the University of Sheffield.

Maximilian Besenhard